Archive for January, 2013

Icon Business Solutions discuss the role of management in business

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    Here is the latest article from Tano Rebora, our guest business writer from Icon Business Solutions.

    Tano Rebora Icon Business SolutionsManagement in all business and organisational activities is defined in dictionaries as the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organising, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organisation (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal.

    So there it is – people; goals and objectives; using available resources effectively, efficiently. Note that it does not say where (other than organisation or effort) so by implication, anywhere and at any level of human activity.

    All ‘professional’ people immediately stand to attention and see the implications applied to business whilst rejecting that such notions exist in any other field.

    Dictionary definitions continue by stating that the word derives from the latin ‘manu agere’ to ‘lead by the hand’ and this is at the base of management skills; it is about giving direction that is stronger than just a passing suggestion yet not an order and also implies that the person doing the leading knows where he is going and is going first, willingly, to where the follower is being lead. The leader is not asking the follower to do something he is not willing to do himself.

    But let us move sideways for a second and leave fuzzy people ‘things’ to one side and let us consider the much harder, more concrete ‘business management’ first.

    What do we mean by ‘business management’?

    Well, if an enterprise is to be managed effectively and efficiently then at least the Board must know what the correct corporate vision and mission is, mustn’t it? Otherwise, if there is no understanding of what the business is to have achieved in a specific time period the chances of success are hugely diminished.

    It is much easier when both are present because this can lead to planning achievable objectives in realistic times. It’s the point at which the ‘Executive’ strategic level manages the tactical to achieve long term aims.

    Business Management – Goals and objectives

    It stands to reason that, if there are reasonable vision and mission statements then good management dictates that appropriate, preferably numeric, objectives can be derived from them for the Managing Director/C.E.O./Owner to ‘own’ and be responsible for delivery in measurable timescales. This can then be cascaded down the organisation, irrespective of the depth and complexity of that organisation.

    At a simple level there are three basic levels of hierarchy in any business – the operational, the ‘Management’ (tactical) and the Executive (strategic). For the ‘one man band’ – all three need to be considered and applied. Therein lies the basis of many company failures – but that’s for another time.

    All three levels need to be accountable and all the objectives must funnel upwards and downwards to fulfil the success criteria for the business.

    Setting the goals/objectives and measuring people on their achievement against them is at the heart of ‘business management’.

    All different functions must be managed on this basis, as example:

    Sales:

    • Director: KPIs based on company revenue, company profit ; departmental profit; territory cover; Wins vs Losses; client satisfaction; team performance. All, as appropriate dependent on market, sector, high value vs low value, timescales and other factors.
    • Manager: KPIs on team sales target; profit target (as above); client acquisition; territory coverage; client satisfaction. The above constraints apply.
    • Salesperson: revenue, profit (if applicable), number of new Accounts

    Marketing:

    • Company/departmental/sector revenues; number of suspects and prospects created totally attributable; competitive positioning (wins/losses)
    • Sub divisions of these depending on structure and responsibilities.

    Operations/Production

    • Company revenues and profit margins
    • Number of units produced
    • Efficiency of equipment and employee levels
    • Health and Safety
    • ‘Returns’

    Other functions such as Financial/Legal and Human Resource should be similarly treated as should any sub-functions for example; Product Development, Product Marketing.

    The above list is not complete and it is not intended to be. It is just an example of the sort of tangible, concrete objectives that can be measured.

    There are tomes written on how to set these and Peter Mayer (Attitude is Everything) describes good objectives as being SMARTERS (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Ethical, Rewarded and Satisfying Strategic goals.). There are other words used for the acronym but I choose to finish on the last one for good reason – Satisfying Strategic goals.

    Everything that everyone in any company does is focused on getting the business forward today (operational level), tomorrow (Management tactical) and in the future (Management Executive).

    So, all employees now know what tune they are marching to at every level but how does anyone know how different people are performing, individually, departmentally and at company level to ensure company success?

    People Management – Not so ‘fuzzy’ stuff, then ‘fuzzy’ stuff
    Well, the answer to the above is – no-one does, unless there are proper Human Resource processes in support.

    How many companies, again, at any level, have these? In my experience – very few.
    Rarer indeed the ones that have the end to end processes that guarantee performance such as:

    • Hatch: Recruitment -attracting the right people at the right time and the capacity to tell the difference in measurable ways (there you go- there’s a good SMARTERS objective for HR people already!).
    • Batch: Appraisal – setting the correct objectives and regular meeting to match objectives achieved with those set out. In the process also identifying ‘high flyers’, succession planning (both measurable) as well as non-performers and documenting all for action etc.
    • Dispatch: No easy way to put this one – but the actions taken must be, again, set against proper well documented situations, ethical and with respect for all individuals.

    Well, that was non-fuzzy but what about fuzzy stuff?
    Have you noticed that some people just manage to get more out of other people than others might do?

    What do we call that? Leadership? Charisma? The innate or developed (there’s a question!) capacity to ‘lead by the hand’ (please re-read previous introduction).
    People/Managers can spend a lifetime blithely managing by objectives and not totally understand how to get the best out of their people, always managing to make their own objectives without understanding how they can do more through their ‘fuzzy’ people management skills.

    No matter how well the company may be doing and may be business managed these are the ones that, typically, make the best sales to the most loyal client base; may need less human resource in production to achieve best output; may hire or help hire the best people in the marketplace….the list is endless.

    Oh and who measures them? They may well be managed by people who, let’s repeat here, people who ‘always manage to make their own objectives without understanding how they can do more’. Perhaps understanding this and hiring for ‘fuzzy’ traits is what makes good companies great.

    From Maslow through Herzberg to Goleman and beyond there has been tremendous work done on people motivation through the years precisely focused on this.
    Companies are made from the top down but without the right business and people management skills with the right processes they will never be successful.
    So if any of the above resonates – act on it, for that is the role of management in business!

    This article was written by Tano Rebora and was originally published on the Business Matters blog.

    Tano offers free, no commitment Business Health Checks, which will guarantee companies with business building strategies upon request. To find out more about Icon, visit the website at http://www.iconbusinesssolutions.com or email Tano Rebora at tanorebora@iconbusinesssolutions.com

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      Free SEO & Social Media surgery – The Workstation, 7th February 2013

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        Seven Creative digital marketing SheffieldSeven Creative Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation surgeries

        Seven Creative are running a free 1-to-1 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) surgery and 1-to-1 Blogging & Social Media Optimisation surgery at the Workstation in Sheffield on 7th February 2013.

        Search Engine Optimisation surgery

        The Search Engine Optimisationsurgery is suitable for businesses who have a website but are not sure how well it is optimised or would like advice on how to further optimise it. This 1-to-1 SEO surgery will help evaluate how well your site is optimised for search engine indexing in terms of both on-page and off-page optimisation.

        During this free and confidential session we’ll look at the major search engines and evaluate your competition. We’ll then focus on the steps that can be taken to increase the search engine visibility of your site.

        Social Media and Blogging surgery

        The Seven Creative Social Media and Blogging surgery is suitable for anyone wishing to either begin using social media & blogging to promote their business, or those who wish to optimise their current social media activity to increase the online visibility of their business.

        This 1-to-1 Social Media Optimisation surgery will help evaluate how well your current social media activity is working to raise the profile of the business and whether this activity can be further optimised.

        During this free and confidential session, we’ll look at the appropriate social channels based on your customer profiles. We’ll also help with the steps that can be taken to further optimise this activity, increase the business’ online visibility and further engage with your online audience.

        Booking

        Slots are available with advance booking and are up-to 30 minutes in length. To book, email Seven Creative at booking@sevencreative.co.uk or call 0114 383 0711 for more information.

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          You’re in safe hands with Sheffield’s finest insurance broker

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            Dave Price is a genuine Yorkshire gentleman with 22 years in the insurance industry. In other words, just the type of guy that you would trust with your health insurance, home insurance and life insurance.

            As Principal of Munro Associates in Sheffield, David is a specialist in protection and advice regarding insurance.

            His motto is “It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” Munro Associates are committed to providing insurance products that deliver quality protection for their clients.

            Dave and the staff at Munro Associates pride themselves on providing a first class bespoke service to all their customers, and are appointed representative of First Complete Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

            Munro Associates provide a variety of services, including full advice, provided by qualified and experienced advisers, giving access to a panel of competitive and respected insurers for:

            • Life Insurance
            • Critical Illness
            • Income Protection
            • Private Medical Insurance
            • Accident, Sickness and Unemployment
            • Buildings & Contents for your home

            insurance broker sheffield

            Colleague at Munro Associates Ian Cooper, speaks very highly of David. He said, “David is a broker with the utmost integrity. He is a real inspiration for those he associates with, he is truly a peoples person and he looks after his client base with a real passion.  I would have no hesitation in recommending Dave.”

            Gary Drabble, Estate Planner at Buchanan & Co Solicitiors Ltd, said “David is the consummate professional. He listens to what his clients require and then helps them choose the right solution for their needs. He is extremely helpful and has the best interests of all the people he meets uppermost in his thoughts, at all times. I would have no hesitation in recommending him as a very professional adviser who puts the needs of his clients first.”

             

            If you would like advice from a quality insurance broker in Sheffield, contact Dave Price on 07920008170, email d.price@munroassociates.net or visit the Munro Associates website for more information.

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              Written by Chris

              January 17th, 2013 at 10:34 am

              Google Doodle commemorates the Zamboni ice machine

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                The Frank Zamboni Google doodle. Photograph: Google

                The Frank Zamboni Google doodle. Photograph: Google

                The frosty spell of weather we’ve experienced recently, coupled with the 112th birthday of Frank Zamboni, have inspired the latest google doodle.

                The interactive doodle features an ice cleaning machine, invented by Frank Zamboni in 1949.

                Frank Zamboni invented the world’s first self-propelled ice-resurfacing machine. Trademarked in his name, the machine is known as a “Zamboni”. This machine enabled an ice rink to be resurfaced in just 10 minutes, compared to the previous hour and a half three man job.

                Here at Seven Creative web design in Sheffield, we really love the playable doodles, this one especially.

                After watching animated skaters leave the ice rink, the google doodle allows you to move the ice-resurfacing machine around the rink, cleaning it as you go.

                Frank Zamboni died from cancer in 1988 when he was 87, but his ice resurfacing machine continues to be used today. The Zamboni Ice Resurfacer has sold more than 10,000 units of the equipment to date.

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                  Written by Chris

                  January 16th, 2013 at 9:40 am

                  Tube processing machines

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                    Tube processing Machines

                    Tube processing Machines

                    Pipes and tubes are some of the unsung heroes we have to thank for helping to keep our country running. From exhausts on lorries and cars to the machines that produce our food, they are everywhere. Most people, however, have never given a thought to where these tubes come from or how they are manufactured!

                    Transfluid produce and supply the machines that will bend, form, cut and clean tubes providing solutions for every tube requirement. Based in Hünegräben, Germany, Transfluid they supply some of the highest quality machinery for tube bending. They are focussed on working together with their customers and are responsive to the changing requirements of these organisations. Their company motto is “we think ahead. This is what drives our customer progress” meaning that they are proactive in their approach, striving to provide the best customer services and the cutting edge of technology.

                    Examples of the types of machines are mobile & high-performance pipe bending machines; pipe de-burring machines, pipe chamfering machines & cutting ring pre-assembly/flaring machines; stationery and semi-automatic bending machines; Fully automatic mandrel bending machines; large diameter tube bending; and compact mandrel bending. To also provide the maximum amount of control over these machines, Transfluid also provide the complementary high-performance software to guarantee time-saving and reliable processing. This software allows you to import drawings from the major CAD drawing software systems.

                    For more information, contact Transfluid though their website: tube-processing-machines.com

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                      Written by Chris

                      January 1st, 2013 at 3:33 pm